Determining the appropriate time sharing when a parent is in the military has been a long- standing issue due to deployment, re-assignment to a new base and other variables.
Florida Statue 61.13002 allows a parent who is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service on orders in excess of 90 days and whose ability to comply with time-sharing is materially affected to designate a person(s) to exercise time-sharing on that parent’s behalf. The designation is restricted to a family member, stepparent or relative of the child by marriage.
The designation must be in writing to the civilian parent at least 10 days prior to the next time-sharing. If the parties are unable to agree on the designation, then either party can request an expedited hearing to determine the designation. Agreements on designation may be made at time of dissolution of marriage or during other child-related proceedings.
The statute further provides that in any hearing enforcing rights under F.S. 61.13002, the court shall permit the military parent to testify by telephone, video teleconference, webcam, affidavit, or other means if the military duties have a material effect on that parent’s ability or anticipated ability to appear in person.